Lauren Handy Two antiabortion activists who claimed earlier this year to have obtained dozens of fetuses from a D.C. facility that provides abortions were sentenced to jail on Tuesday for trespassing at an Alexandria women’s clinic last year, authorities said.
Lauren Handy, who faces similar charges in multiple cases around the country, was sentenced in Alexandria District Court to 30 days of jail beginning immediately and Terrisa Bukovinac received four days.
On November 1921, six activists entered the Alexandria Women’s Health Clinic in Alexandria, VA, and distributed roses as they advocated against abortion, according to news reports and a release from the women. Joan Andrews Bell, Kristin Turner, Cassidy Shooltz, and Jonathan Darnel were the other four.
Bell, another longtime activist, was also sentenced to 30 days. Turner, Shooltz, and Darnel each received four days’ punishment according to court records.
Caroline Smith of Progressive Anti-Abortion Uprising (PAAU), where Handy, Bukovinac, and most of the others belong, noted this was the first time any of those jailed had received shorter sentences for their activism. Though Handy had previously served time for her activism, Smith noted this will be her longest jail term to date.
“Our actions show that we accept consequences,” Handy told The Washington Post before being sentenced. “I believe this gives legitimacy to our movement.”
Last month, Handy was found guilty by a jury of trespassing and resisting police during her protest at an abortion clinic in Flint, Mich., according to WNEM. She is due for sentencing there in September and could face up to two years in jail when sentenced, according to Handy.
In March, the Justice Department charged Handy and eight others with federal civil rights offenses related to an alleged blockade at Washington Surgi-Clinic in D.C. in 2020. No trial date has been set in that case yet; if found guilty, each defendant could face up to 11 years in prison, three years of supervised release, as well as a fine of up to $350,000.
On March 19th, D.C. police discovered five fetuses missing from Handy’s apartment.
Handy and Bukovinac reported that they had obtained the remains of two fetuses from a medical waste company worker who was picking them up from Washington Surgi-Clinic.
The medical waste company has denied that its workers gave any remains to the activists. Handy and Bukovinac claim they buried most of them with the assistance of a Catholic priest at an unknown location